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Camaraderie & Connections

I recently had an opportunity to attend an “AT&T retired execs” gathering. 🤝 Was my first one. Felt like I was the most “freshly retired” of the group, and while I didn’t know most folks there, by the end of the evening, I developed a new appreciation for corporate camaraderie.

As a relationship and people-based leader, I’ve long felt that it’s these types of connections that make our work worthwhile, whether they be with our customers, partners, people, or communities. I chose a corporate path that endured with one brand for over three decades (albeit we were acquired halfway into my career, so it felt like a total reset at the time), and it was common for leaders to have similar tenure in our business and industry. 🕰️ One of the greatest positives of this longevity was our ability to build meaningful relationships and experience enduring camaraderie every day at work. 😎 The people made the fun and impact of our successes more memorable and for sure, they made the lows and challenging times more tolerable. We were always in it, together. ❤️

Now that I’m in #rewirement from that chapter of my career, I’m still finding my way in terms of connection and camaraderie. That’s one of the reasons why I RSVP’d “yes.” And I’m glad that I did. 🙏 The alumni group that I’m now part of is an impressive bunch. 👏 Generations of leaders across numerous functional areas and expertise. Lots of catching up to do, much to talk about, and many to learn from. And the conversations – with people whom I knew but hadn’t seen in a while as well as with those who I just met – flowed easily given our shared foundation of service. I wish I could’ve added up all the tenure in the room! 🏆

As I’ve said before, there’s nothing more powerful than the human connection. ⚡️ And no matter where we are – in our career, in our communities, in our lives – we need this connection and camaraderie to both survive and thrive. Do you agree? And the notion of “alumni status” isn’t just for schools. 🤓 To the extent we’ve shared an experience of some kind, whether synchronously or not, those experiences can serve as a foundation for common ground…a potential connection…and even perhaps a new comrade and friend? What do you think? Any suggestions you have for others who are looking to create more connection and enhance camaraderie in their lives? Either personally or professionally?

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